November 17th, 2003


Song of the Wall

If you don't play Legend of the 5 Rings then the following song will probably slide straight off of you. But the second stanza popped into my head while brushing my teeth this morning, so I had to write the whole damn thing.
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Nicked from elsewhere

Plot: what your characters do
Character: who your characters are
Story: the mysterious, magical something that happens when plot and character get together and raise a family


Did 5 sessions of Drama for Beginners over the last 6 weeks. Came to the conclusion that it's fun, not as fun as other things that I do and that I was never going to be good at it without a lot of effort. Have thus dumped it in favour of (a) having more free time and (b) doing more stuff I like a lot.

I'm now down to:

Tuesdays: Computing with Andy (tho it will hopefully be Thursday this week, even if he hasnt replied to my email)
Thursdays: Gaming
Friday: Off to cinema with Ed to see wierd art films

The reason for a lack of updates

Various things are ongoing in my life at the moment.that I can't write about without (a) making them private or (b) making them friends only and then making sure that the friends group that they apply to is extremely limited to people who aren't just not involved, but don't know anyone who knows anyone that is involved. Which always seems like a lot of hassle.

So I haven't been updating, because the only thing I feel like updating about is the one thing I can't.

Well, except for links, songs and reviews, obviously.

(no subject)

I happened to be flipping through a copy of Star in the checkout line at the grocery store the other day and they had a "Stars with No Makeup" photo spread, which had a bunch of people in it, including Julia Roberts, Brittany and Madonna. And you know what? Without their carefully applied make-up, these people look like us. Which is to say, not that attractive.
quoth someone in a friends only post.

I see at least 5 people a week that are _easily_ as pretty as film stars - they just don't have the airbrushing, lighting, makeup, etc. that stars have.

People fixate on celebrities - they fill in for demi-gods and glorious leaders in a time when actual gods and leaders have fallen into severe disrepute. I remember seeing a photo of Winona Ryder on the fromt of Empire and being repulsed because she didn't look like a woman but like a robotic copy of a woman. I hadn't fallen for a robot demi-god when I saw Beetlejuice - I'd fallen for a personality (and yes, I was young, and it was a long time ago).

I've slowly lost all of my heroes - they all turned out to be human. Part of me misses that, part of me thinks it has to be a good thing.


I have a few
I have some, but they aren't really that heroic
I used to have some, but I grew out of it
I never had any heroes

Richard Dawkins on Quantum Mysticism

[A] kind of marriage has been alleged between modern physics and Eastern mysticism. The argument goes as follows: Quantum mechanics, that brilliantly successful flagship theory of modern science, is deeply mysterious and hard to understand. Eastern mystics have always been deeply mysterious and hard to understand. Therefore, Eastern mystics must have been talking about quantum theory all along.

Similar mileage is made of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle ("Aren't we all, in a very real sense, uncertain?"), fuzzy logic ("Yes, it's okay for you to be fuzzy, too"), chaos and complexity theory (the butterfly effect, the Platonic, hidden beauty of the Mandelbrot Set--you name it, somebody has mysticized it and turned it into dollars). You can buy any number of books on "quantum healing," not to mention quantum psychology, quantum responsibility, quantum morality, quantum immortality, and quantum theology. I haven't found a book on quantum feminism, quantum financial management, or Afro-quantum theory, but give it time.

The whole dippy business is ably exposed by the physicist Victor Stenger in his book, The Unconscious Quantum, from which the following gem is taken.

In a lecture on "Afrocentric healing," the psychiatrist Patricia Newton said that traditional healers "are able to tap that other realm of negative entropy--that superquantum velocity and frequency of electromagnetic energy--and bring them as conduits down to our level. It's not magic. It's not mumbo jumbo. You will see the dawn of the 21st century, the new medical quantum physics really distributing these energies and what they are doing."

Sorry, but mumbo jumbo is precisely what it is. Not African mumbo jumbo but pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo, down to the trademark misuse of the word energy. It is also religion, masquerading as science in a cloying love feast of bogus convergence.

More stuff gleefully stolen

"Maybe I'm missing something here. I mean, we're going to have kind of a nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not. It needs to be in our vital interest, the mission needs to be clear, and the exit strategy obvious. I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say this is the way it's got to be. I think the United States must be humble . . . in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course." -- George W. Bush chiding Al Gore for the Clinton administration's actions in Somalia, 2000.

And now to bed...